Over the past decade, the UK has recycled 50 billion plastic drinks bottles - enough to stretch to the moon and back more than 10 times over.

In Wolverhampton alone, the amount of rubbish being recycled has more than doubled since 2006, from 23.79% to 49.81% last year - compared to the national average of 43%.

And to keep up the momentum, Wolverhampton City Council is throwing its weight behind the 10th anniversary celebrations for Recycle Week - the national annual event designed to encourage people to recycle more than ever before.

Over the last decade, the annual event has played an important role in helping to spread messages about recycling to consumers across the UK during a period which has seen huge improvements in how much, and what, the nation recycles.

In that time, a number of improvements have taken place to make it easier for Wolverhampton's residents to recycle their rubbish, including the introduction of plastic and cardboard recycling in November 2008 and food waste recycling in 2011.

Further improvements followed in 2012 when mixed dry recycling was introduced, meaning people could put all their card, paper, glass and plastic recycling out in one container.

Recycle Week 2013, which takes place from Monday (17 June, 2013) to Saturday 23 June, 2013, is focusing on recycling at home and away, highlighting what can be recycled and where.

"As a nation, we've come a long way since we first began to take recycling seriously," said Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services.

"And I'm delighted that the people of Wolverhampton are leading the way and in recycling around half of all the rubbish they throw away, much more than other parts of the country.

"Not only is this good news for the environment as it means we're sending less to landfill and making better use of natural resources, it's also good news for taxpayers as the city council can sell on recyclable materials, providing an additional source of revenue at a time when we are facing unprecedented pressures on our budgets."

He added: "The Government has set a target of recycling 50% of all waste by 2015 and here in Wolverhampton we're very nearly at that level already - but we won't be resting on our laurels and will continue to do all we can to make it even easier for people to recycle their rubbish."

In the 10 years that Recycle Week has been running, local authority recycling schemes across the UK have collected materials worth a staggering £2.4 billion, including £1 billion worth of paper and card, plastic valued at £339 million and cans, glass and textiles totalling £451 million.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of WRAP which organises Recycle Week, said: "The progress we've made is due to a huge amount of effort on behalf of individuals, local authorities, businesses, community groups and charities.

"However, one of the reasons that Recycle Week is still around is that there's more we can all do to recycle more things, more often to capture these valuable resources.

"For example, take the humble plastic bottle. Householders are now recycling more than 50% of these - great news, but that means there's still around 50% ending up in landfill."

People can find out more about recycling in Wolverhampton - including what waste they can put out when - by logging on to Type=articles;Articleid=1704;Title=; or calling City Direct on 01902 551155.

  • released: Friday 14 June, 2013